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The week that was is not quite as exciting as the week to come, but there were a few big results to discuss before we get to what we’re really looking forward to.

The biggest game of the week was undoubtedly #4 Spencer County at #6 Shelby County. Spencer County entered unbeaten at 8-0, and could have secured the district title with a win. Shelby County also controlled their destiny, needing a win in that game as well as the following week against Collins to secure the #1 seed, and it was they who exited the game still in control, gaining a 42-28 victory over the Bears. Shelby County was dominant in their ground game, accumulating 362 yards on the ground, but had to overcome an early deficit and were in a tie game at 28 all with 10 minutes left in the game. Malik Manica was the difference, scoring on a pair of runs for the final margin. Shelby County faces the ultimate challenge this week – beat Collins for the first time, and secure the #1 seed. Lose, and they could fall as far as #4.

#7 Hopkinsville secured their district crown with a 37-0 whitewashing of Calloway County. It’s the first district title in 10 years for the Tigers, and completes their resurrection as a program. Quarterback Jalen Johnson was 8/15 for 150 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the game, adding a score on the ground. Hopkinsville had only 228 yards of offense, but were greatly aided by three interceptions, two of them by Tyler Graham. They still have to defeat Hopkins County Central for an unbeaten district slate, but they’ve clinched the district via head to head tiebreaker with Calloway.

#5 Scott secured their first-ever district crown in a tighter than expected 42-35 decision over Bourbon County. Offense was the name of the game, with Scott rolling up 510 yards of offense while Bourbon County gained 488 themselves. It was quite a contrast as Scott was led by a trio of rushers for 456 yards on the ground. Roberto London led the way with 20 carries for 157 yards, Danny Fitzgerald was right behind with 12 carries for 154 yards and a pair of scores, but the most impressive effort was Deondre Pleasant who scored one TD ever two times he ran it, with 8 carries for 116 yards and 4 scores. Bourbon County for their part did damage through the air, as Bolin put up 309 yards. It was a game effort that saw the Colonels actually lead at halftime 21-20, but ultimately Scott secures the 1 seed.

#1 Johnson Central (42-6 over Rowan County), #2 South Warren (40-7 over Allen County-Scottsville), and #3 Ashland (32-6 over Greenup County) all took care of business in big fashion to set themselves up to secure district titles this week with a win. #8 John Hardin (48-6 over Valley) is in the same boat, but likely would win via tiebreakers even if they were to lose to Western this week – an extremely unlikely event. Also, a special shout-out to just out of the ranks Wayne County, which moved to 7-2 and secured their fifth straight win and a district title with a 51-8 decision over Russell County.

Which brings us to this week, and the game we’ve all been waiting for. #1 Johnson Central visits #3 Ashland, a battle of unbeaten and probably the most anticipated game since Week 1 when South Warren took on John Hardin. Johnson Central has not lost a regular season game since 2012, and hasn’t fallen to Ashland since 2011. Last year the Golden Eagles held Quenton Baker to just 29 yards on 10 carries, something one would figure would be hard to repeat as Baker enters this game averaging 11 yards per carry despite having carried it 158 times. That’s 1,728 yards he’s amassed, and he averages three TDs a game. Johnson Central is allowing only 88 yards per game on the ground. It’s a battle of strength on strength for both teams, with both featuring powerful ground attacks while the defenses have by and large shut down the run. Needless to say, if you are within shouting distance of this game this week, you should get your behind to Ashland.

“The Battle For Shelbyville” is another big matchup, as #4 Shelby County hosts #10 Collins. As mentioned above, Shelby County has never beaten Collins, and that is what they’ll have to do to secure a district title. Collins can’t play their way up to the #1 seed since they lost to Spencer County, but they can gain a home game in the playoffs with a victory. Shelby County could drop to #4 with a loss and a Franklin County win.

Speaking of Franklin County, they host North Oldham in a “play-in” game. The winner makes the playoffs while the loser stays home. Franklin County finds themselves here despite a stellar 6-0 start, and could still escape the trip to John Hardin with a win and Shelby County loss. For North Oldham, it’s #4 or bust – a big comedown from last year’s state semifinal finish.

In one other game with significant playoff implications, it is #2 South Warren hosting Warren Central, the first meeting for the crosstown rivals. The Spartans figure to be huge favorites, and will secure the #1 seed outright with a win. If they were to lose, Warren Central would actually gain the #1 spot on tiebreakers, a dramatic change from the likely tiebreaker scenario that will land them in the #4 spot with a loss.